Day 11— Pachamama (earth/time mother, nourishment, protection, planting, harvesting )
Pachamama is the Supreme Goddess honoured by the indigenous people of the Andes including Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Pachamama is referred to as both the Physical Planet Earth as well as the Universal Feminine Energy in Time and Space, The Cosmic Mother. Pacha is an archaic Quechua word meaning universe, world, time and space. So She is in fact the Goddess of all that exists for all time, eternal.
She is considered the Mother who begets life, nourishes and protects. In Her role as Earth Mother, She oversees planting and harvesting and is responsible for the well-being of plants and animals. Offerings are made to Her regularly for success in all endeavours.
In Inca mythology, Mama Pacha or Pachamama was a dragoness fertility goddess who presided over planting and harvesting. The earth was seen as a dragon goddess (Pachamama) who lived beneath the mountains; occasionally she quivered, sending earthquakes through the world.
Pachamama, goddess of the earth or earth mother, wife of Pachacamac, is still the object of a cult all over the Andean mountains where people make her offerings of coca leaf and ‘chicha’ beer and pray to her on all major agricultural occasions to assure a sufficient food supply. Pachamama represents the Andean Mountains. When She feels disrespected, She may cause Earthquakes. The Andean People believe that recent quakes in the region are a direct result of humanity’s disregard for the planet. Pachamama is showing us Her displeasure at our attitude toward Her.
On the night before August 1, families prepare to honor Pachamama by cooking all night. The host of the gathering then makes a hole in the ground. If the soil comes out nicely, this means that it will be a good year; if not, the year will not be bountiful. Before any of the guests are allowed to eat, the host must first give a plate of food to Pachamama.
Offerings to Pachamama are referred to as Apachetas. The apachetas most often consist of a hole, or well, dug into the earth within which is placed the offering and piles of stones are placed on top. Each village would have a ceremonial apacheta and individual homes may also have one. The apachetas are also symbolic of the Triple Goddess aspect of Pachamama. The stone cairns represent Pachamama Sky (Janaj Pacha), the offerings refer to Pachamama Soil (Kay Pacha) and the well itself represents Pachamama in Her aspect as She Who is Queen of the Underworld (Ukhu Pacha).
Pachamama is honoured on August 1 and the entire month of August is devoted to Her. She is also revered on the First Friday of every month and may also be prayed to prior to undertaking any new project. Offerings are buried in the apachetas to “feed the Mother.”
Candles — Red candle to represent Pachamama and a black candle to represent the unknown, place both in the center
Offerings to apachetas: corn, flour, cakes, libations, cooked food, coca leaf, grain and corn flour, wine, cigars and chicha (a fermented drink), several small pebbles
Incenses: Basil (sacred to Dragons) and Sage (immortality, wisdom)
To maintain your connection to Pachamama, you may want to place pebbles on the apacheta on the First Friday of every month.
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